THE GUN CONTROL ACT OF 1968
Made it illegal to sell rifles and shotguns through a mail order system. Mostly a reaction to the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King.
THE FIREARM OWNERS’ PROTECTION ACT (FOPA) OF 1986
A revision of the 1934 NFA’s ban on machine guns specifies transportation issues for gun owners and remedies the abuse to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms that was created in 1972. The focus was to restrict access the drug gangs that were rampant during the crack epidemic of the mid-80’s.
BRADY HANDGUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION ACT OF 1993
Named after James Brady, who was shot by John Hinckley Jr. in the attempted assassination of then President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981. The Brady Act instituted federal background checks through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) on any purchasers of firearms in the United States.
VIOLENT CRIME CONTROL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT ACT OF 1994
(expired on September 13, 2004)
Of specific interest was the formation of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that banned the manufacturing of 19 specific “assault weapons” (classified as semi-automatic firearms) “that are capable of accepting a detachable magazine, and which has two or more of the following features: telescoping or folding stock, pistol grip, grenade launcher, bayonet lug, and flash suppressor.
This Act was in reaction to several events of violent crime such as the ‘101 California Street Shooting’ that occurred on July 1, 1993 taking the lives of nine people, including the shooter, Gian Luigi Ferri, and injuring six others. The weapons involved a pair of Tech-9 pistols and a Chinese version of a colt M1911 in this savage murder-suicide.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENDER GUN BAN OF 1997
Bans the ownership and use of guns to any person convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence or anyone that is under a restraining order connected to domestic abuse. This ban was partly brought about from the public outcry during the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
These laws are mostly well-meaning and created in an effort to protect civilians and police yet they have been constantly been faced with controversy and a definite divide on what really allows for protection. With most of these laws inspired to reduce violent crime we are still hearing about criminal activity involving weapons on a regular basis, which indicates that stricter laws may not be the answer to combat crimes with guns.